Electrical Power Systems: Different Kinds of Faults and Its Effect

Electrical Power Systems: Different Kinds of Faults and Its Effect

Electrical system is itself massive in size. Therefore, much more complexity is there within its other sectors like loading systems, distribution, transmission and generation.  Even a minimal fault in this system can be the prime culprit of adverse economical loss along with property and possession.

In fact, it lowers down the reliability of the power supply system at the same time. Faulty electrical system is an abnormal condition resulted from several causes like environmental conditions, human errors, rotating machines and much more.

It can result in damage of the components, interruption of the electrical flow and often death to animals, birds and humans. Read on to this blog to know varied electrical faults, it causes and effects on daily lives.

Different kinds of faults

Electrical faults result from current or voltage deviation from its original states or values. During the condition of the normal electrical operation, the electrical equipment carries usual amount of currents and voltages for providing safe operation of the entire system.

After occurrences of the fault, it leads to the excessive flow of high current causing damage to the devices and equipment. Hence, domestic electrical fault finding and analysis is crucial for designing or choosing appropriate switchgear components, circuit breakers, electromechanical relays and other protective devices.

Symmetrical faults

Although it is very rare it can lead to adverse faults in the entire electrical systems. Also known as balanced faults, it is mainly 2-type: line-to-line-to-line (L-L-L) and line-to-line-to-line-to-ground (L-L-L-G) faults. It is important for rating the protective switchgear, choosing set-phase relays and capacity of rupture of circuit breaker.

Unsymmetrical faults

It is quite common and less adverse in contrary to symmetrical faults. It has 3 types named as double line-to-ground (LL-G), line-to-line (L-L) and line-to-ground (L-G) faults. It contacts the conductor to the ground or earth. Amongst three types up to 20% faults occur due to the double line-to-ground by resulting connections of 2 conductors with ground.

Line-to-line faults result when 2 conductors develop the connection and 10% faults happen due to the swinging of the lines. It is also called unbalanced faults (other name of unsymmetrical faults) due to occurring imbalance in the electrical system.

It clearly states that the impedance value varies within the system making the analysis more difficult. It is so; because it is carried by varied phase which are much identical to 3 balanced faults phases.

Prime causes of electrical faults

  • Weather conditions

It states the continuous changing weather conditions with natural calamities like, heavy winds, heavy rains and lighting strikes. Even deposition of salt, ice and snow accumulation on the conductors and overhead/transmission lines can interfere with the electric supply by causing potential damage to these installations.

  • Equipment failures

Certain electrical devices such as switching devices, reactors, transformers, motors and generators can cause short circuits. It mainly occurs due to the ageing, failure of insulation and malfunctioning of winding and cables. As a result, high current can get easily flowed within the devices causing further damage to it.

  • Human errors

Most of the time electrical faults are happened due to the errors developed by humans. It is primarily done by selecting imperfect device or equipment, not considering electrical or metallic conducting parts. Other man-made causes are improper maintenance, switching and rare servicing.  

  • Fires and smoke

Air ionisation occurs from smoke particles results in sparkling within the overhead lines or within line from insulator to conductor. This ends up with losing of the insulation property just because of the high voltages.  

Effects of the electrical faults

  • Overflow of current

After emergence of an electrical fault a little impedance path is developed for resisting the current flow. It can lead to drawing of high current from the main supply often ends up with damaging of the components, equipment and insulation along with relay tripping.

  • Danger for operating personnel

The occurrence of the faults leads to the experience of electrical shock to persons. Depending on the intensity of the shock that is based on voltage and current of the fault origin it possesses the potential to kill the people.   

  • Equipment loss

Often short circuit leads to heavy current that burns out the component entirely. As a result, the devices or appliances with start working improperly. Many times heavy fires burn out the essential electrical components totally. 

  • Interrupts the active circuit interconnection

Any electrical fault not only affects the origin but also interferes with the active circuit interconnection of the line at the same time. 

  • Electrical fires

Sparks and flashovers are often resulted from the short circuit because of the air ionisation within 2 conducting ways that lead to fire further. Due to this reason often there is fire breakout within commercial complexes and skyscrapers.

Fault minimising devices

Human errors in electrical system can be minimised or kept under control. But it is not possible for the environmental changes within the electrical system. When it is about the electrical system network of your home, fault identification and clearance is the most significant job to be done by an experienced electrician.

If the circuit somehow can be broken during emergence of any faults then considerable damages to the appliances including your property can be alleviated to a great extent.  Certain most effective fault minimising devices are relays, circuit breakers and fuses. These are explained below for your references.

  • Fuse

Fuse is regarded as the key electrical system protecting device. It involves enclosing of a thin wire in encased glass connecting 2 metallic parts. During any excessive flow of current within the circuit, it melts down automatically. Depending on the voltage of the electrical system you can choose the appropriate type of fuse for its perfect operation. Manual wire replacement is mainly necessary after complete blowout of the system.   

  • Circuit breaker

By breaking down the abnormal conditions, it keeps the electrical circuit as normal as it is. It leads to the occurrence of circuit tripping during evolution of any electrical fault. Some of its kinds are ultrafast electronic circuit breaker or electromechanical circuit breaker such as oil/vacuum circuit breaker and others.

  • Relay

It is entirely depended on the operating switch comprising of the magnetic coil for simple closing and opening of circuits. Occurrence of fault increases the electrical power that energises the relay coil.

It results in operation of the contacts due to which the circuit gets interrupted from the current flow. There are varied kinds of relays like mho relays, impedance relays and lots more available in the market to choose from.

  • Power protection lighting devices

It involves grounding devices and lighting arrestors for protecting the electrical system from surge and lighting voltages.

Analysis of 3-phase application-based fault

In 3-phase faults the prime fault is created by the faulty switches. For this the entire circuit becomes full of permanent and temporary faults. If any button is pressed on the temporary fault the arrangement trip of the timer it restores the electrical supply to load.

In case any switch is pressed ON the circuit gets complete breakdown due to the permanent fault of the load due to relay arrangement. 

These are all about common electrical faults and its reasons and effects. While you face any of the said above in your home rather trying to fix it on your own hire a professional electrician. They can be your ideal companion for electrical fault finding in London too. Moreover,they are skilled enough to deal with the issue and know the tricks of repairing it within shortest time possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *